Gingiva Cross-section of a tooth with visible gums, or gingiva Gray's subject #242 1112 MeSH Gingiva Code TA A05.1.01.108
- 1 General description
- 2 Macroscopic features of gingiva
- 3 Diseases of the gingiva
- 4 Characteristics of healthy gingiva
- 5 Additional images
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- 9 Further reading
Gingiva are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth. They surround the teeth and provide a seal around them. Compared with the soft tissue linings of the lips and cheeks, most of the gingiva are tightly bound to the underlying bone which helps resist the friction of food passing over them. Healthy gingiva are usually coral pink, but may contain physiologic pigmentation. Changes in color, particularly increased redness, together with edema and an increased tendency to bleed, suggest an inflammation that is possibly due to the accumulation of bacterial plaque.
Macroscopic features of gingiva
The gingiva is divided anatomically into marginal, attached and interdental areas.
The marginal gingiva is the terminal edge of gingiva surrounding the teeth in collar like fashion. In about half of individuals, it is demarcated from the adjacent, attached gingiva by a shallow linear depression, the free gingival groove. Usually about 1 mm wide, it forms the soft tissue wall of the gingival sulcus. The marginal gingiva is supported and stabilized by the gingival fibers.
The attached gingiva is continuous with the marginal gingiva. It is firm, resilient, and tightly bound to the underlying periosteum of alveolar bone. The facial aspect of the attached gingiva extends to the relatively loose and movable alveolar mucosa, from which it is demarcated by the mucogingival junction. Attached gingiva may present with surface stippling.
The interdental gingiva occupies the gingival embrasure, which is the interproximal space beneath the area of tooth contact. The interdental gingiva can be pyramidal or have a "col" shape.Attached gingiva is resistant to masticatory forces and always keratinised.
Diseases of the gingiva
The gingival cavity microecosystem, fueled by food residues and saliva, can support the growth of many microorganisms, of which some can be injurious to health. Improper or insufficient oral hygiene can thus lead to many gingival and periodontal disorders, including gingivitis or pyorrhea, which are major causes for tooth failure. Recent studies have also shown that Anabolic steroids are also closely associated with gingival enlargement requiring a gingivectomy for many cases. Gingival recession is when there is an apical movement of the gingival margin away from the biting (occlusal) surface. It may indicate an underlying inflammation such as periodontitis or pyorrhea, a pocket formation, dry mouth or displacement of the marginal gingivae away from the tooth by mechanical (such as brushing), chemical, or surgical means. Gingival retraction, in turn, may expose the dental neck and leave it vulnerable to the action of external stimuli, and may cause root sensitivity.
Characteristics of healthy gingiva
Healthy gingiva usually has a color that has been described as "coral pink." Other colors like red, white, and blue can signify inflammation (gingivitis) or pathology. Although the text book color of gingiva is "coral pink", normal racial pigmentation makes the gingiva appear darker. Because the color of gingiva varies due to racial pigmentation, uniformity of color is more important than the underlying color itself.
Healthy gingiva has a smooth arcuate or scalloped appearance around each tooth. Healthy gingiva fills and fits each interdental space, unlike the swollen gingiva papilla seen in gingivitis or the empty interdental embrasure seen in periodontal disease. Healthy gums hold tight to each tooth in that the gingival surface narrows to "knife-edge" thin at the free gingival margin. On the other hand, inflamed gums have a "puffy" or "rolled" margin.
Healthy gingiva has a firm texture that is resistant to movement, and the surface texture often exhibits surface stippling. Unhealthy gingiva, on the other hand, is often swollen and mushy. Healthy gingiva has an orange-peel like texture to it.
Reaction to disturbance
Healthy gums usually have no reaction to normal disturbance such as brushing or periodontal probing. Unhealthy gums on the other hand will show bleeding on probing (BOP) and/or purulent exudate (pus).
- Willmann, Donald. PERI 5081 - Freshman Periodontics. UTHSCSA, 2006. 2.3.1
Periodontology Tissues of the periodontium
and their physiologic entities
Diagnoses Pathogenesis Pathologic entitiesCalculus · Clinical attachment loss · Edentulism · Fremitus · Furcation defect · Gingival enlargement · Gingival pocket · Gingivitis · Horizontal bony defect · Linear gingival erythema · Occlusal trauma · Periodontal pocket · Periodontal disease · Periodontitis · Plaque · Recession · Vertical bony defect Diagnosis, treatment planning,
Periodontal armamentarium Conventional therapy Surgical therapy and
periodontal surgeryApically positioned flap · Bone graft · Coronally positioned flap · Crown lengthening · Open flap debridement · Free gingival graft · Gingivectomy · Guided bone regeneration · Guided tissue regeneration · Implant Placement · Lateral pedicle graft · Pocket reduction surgery · Sinus lift · Subepithelial connective tissue graft
Important personalities Other specialtiesEndodontology · Orthodontology · Prosthodontology Head and neck anatomy, digestive system: Mouth anatomy (TA A05.1–2, TH H3.04.01, GA 11.1110–2, 1125–1141) MouthGingivaTeethsee tooth anatomy Oro-pharynx/
Dental anatomy (TA A05.1.03, GA 11.1112–1124) Teeth Maxillary teeth Mandibular teeth Parts Bones of head and neck, joints: cranial fibrous joints (A03.1.01–03, GA 2.178–199) Cranial syndesmosesPterygospinous ligament · Stylohyoid ligament Cranial sutures
Cranial: frontoethmoidal · frontal or metopic (frontal/frontal) · coronal (frontal/parietal) · occipitomastoid (occipital/temporal) · lambdoid (parietal/temporal) · sagittal (parietal/parietal) · sphenoethmoidal · sphenofrontal · sphenoparietal · sphenosquamosal (sphenoid/temporal) · sphenopetrosal (sphenoid/temporal) · squamosal (temporal/parietal) · petrosquamous (temporal/temporal)Cranial–facial: sphenozygomatic · zygomaticotemporal · zygomaticofrontal
Facial: palatomaxillary suture · Sutura embryonica · Sutura embryonica accessoria
Dento-alveolar syndesmosis SynostosesSynostosis vomerina · Synostosis mandibularis · Synostosis frontalis · Synostosis petrosquamosa · Synostosis incisiva
anat(h/c, u, t, l)/phys
noco(arth/defr/back/soft)/cong, sysi/epon, injr
proc, drug(M01C, M4)
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